Chris Collins
The Baker City Herald

Spitting is the word

To the editor:

I did not say "pissing into the wind." I said "Spitting into the wind, or whatever other metaphor comes to mind." So I am only half guilty.

Milo Pope

Baker CIty Councilor

Deficit spending must stop

To the editor:

I wish to correct statements about the City Budget's Ending Fund Balance (EFB) that were published in Friday's article "Council Cuts Two Positions." There is no doubt it was confusing, but I'm sure everyone wants the correct numbers.

It was reported that "The net result of the changes is that the cash reserve, money that can't be spent unless the city approves a supplemental budget, totals $722,852 - about $182,000 less than what the Budget Committee proposed."

To compare apples to apples you need to subtract the $136,000 that was withdrawn from revenues by EDC, which means the Budget Committee Proposal had an EFB of $46,000 more than the adopted budget. That is essentially what was used to fund the requested position in police. "Pope pointed out that the original proposed [budget] submitted by Bogart had a reserve of about $671,000 - about $60,000 less than the budget the Council adopted - yet the original budget didn't eliminate Stackle's or Watkins' jobs or eliminate the community and economic development department."

Same point. Take $136,000 from $671,000 leaves an EFB of $535,000, a whopping $187,852 less than the adopted budget's. The statement that "The city's reserves over the past four years were in the $1.8 million to $2.3 million range," is accurate, and the exact reason why the attrition had to stop.

The Budget Committee's goal is to build the EFB back to $1 million, and then provide dedicated funds over that base amount to repairing and maintaining our streets, which have been deteriorating, and address other infrastructure needs. Sam Bass said, "For that $60,000 you lose three people. Hey people, if we are that hard up we ought to take out a loan."

We are that hard up, which is why the deficit spending has to stop. Fortunately, we're able to stop it short of a loan this year, and reverse the trend for the years to come.

Aletha Bonebrake

Baker City Councilor

Give budget a squeeze

To the editor:

Finally, we have a City Council that realizes that employees in this county other than city, county, state and federal employees are losing jobs. It might not show up on the local stats, because outside of the above mentioned, they'll take any kind of job they can get, to feed their families.

Contrary to the opinion of the two disgruntled councilors, the job has just been transferred from one body to another. It appears that if the two terminated employees have been good at their jobs, then the county would be wise to hire one or both of them.

Frankly, with today's technology, one person should be able to do the job. Perhaps Ms. Watkins, who does an excellent job of writing for grant money, could do part time for the County and part for the City as assistant to the city manager. The budget allows for a little squeeze.

George Wilder

Baker City

No need for gutter talk

To the editor:

If I were Mr. Pope's mother, I would want to wash his mouth out with soap.I think a man with his background and education should be able to express his thoughts and ideas with appropriate language for the time and place.I think insulting, crude gutter talk is not appropriate nor should be tolerated at a Baker City Council meeting.

I have been impressed by the ability of most of the board members to explain the reasons and the thought process behind their decisions.

Keep up the good work.

Ruth Boyd

Baker City

Council deserves a D

To the editor:

D grade for City Council! Maybe I am in the minority, maybe not.

But, the best grade I could possibly give this City Council and this mayor is a D. Actually it is three D's: Dysfunctional, Disgusting, and a Disaster!

I would give them an F but the words that best fit and start with F can not be used in print! Lord, what a mess!

Max McAdams

Baker City